Monday, February 2, 2009

There is such a thing as being TOO clean.

I have always thought this was the case, it just seems like common sense. NYTimes:

“Children raised in an ultraclean environment,” he added, “are not being exposed to organisms that help them develop appropriate immune regulatory circuits.”

“The typical human probably harbors some 90 trillion microbes,” she wrote. “The very fact that you have so many microbes of so many different kinds is what keeps you healthy most of the time.”

Dr. Ruebush deplores the current fetish for the hundreds of antibacterial products that convey a false sense of security and may actually foster the development of antibiotic-resistant, disease-causing bacteria. Plain soap and water are all that are needed to become clean, she noted.

Also helpful, he said, is to “let kids have two dogs and a cat,” which will expose them to intestinal worms that can promote a healthy immune system.

Its not easy to think of intestinal worms as a healthy thing. But modern society's "good vs. evil" duality has extended even as far as bacteria, and all the other little critters that keep the planet going, who have fallen into the "evil" category. We are always a part of this messy, complicated system; trying to separate ourselves from it does us more harm than good in the long run.

So go! Eat dirt and be joyous!

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